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Type: Artigo de periódico
Title: Distribution of plant-dwelling spiders: Inflorescences versus vegetative branches
Author: De Souza, ALT
Martins, RP
Abstract: The influence of the architecture of vegetative branches on the distribution of plant-dwelling spiders has been intensively studied, and the effects on the aggregation of individuals in several spider species on plants include variation in prey abundance, availability of predator-free refuges and smoother microclimate conditions. The emergence of inflorescences at the reproductive time of the plants changes branch architecture, and could provide higher prey abundance for the spiders. The distribution of spiders between inflorescences and vegetative branches was compared on four widespread plant species in a Brazilian savannah-like system. Inflorescences attracted more spiders than vegetative branches for all plant species sampled. The influence of branch type (inflorescence and vegetative) on spider distribution was also evaluated by monitoring branches of Baccharis dracunculifolia DC. in vegetative and flowering periods for 1 year, and through a field experiment carried out during the same period where artificial inflorescences were available for spider colonization. Artificial inflorescences attached to B. dracunculifolia branches attracted more spiders than non-manipulated vegetative branches for most of the year. However, this pattern differed among spider guilds. Foliage-runners and stalkers occurred preferentially on artificial inflorescences relative to control branches. The frequencies of ambushers and web-builders were not significantly different between treatment and control branches. However, most ambush spiders (65%) occurred only during the flowering period of B. dracunculifolia, suggesting that this guild was influenced only by natural inflorescences. The experimental treatment also influenced the size distribution of spiders: larger spiders were more abundant on artificial inflorescences than on vegetative branches. The hypothesis that habitat architecture can influence the spider assemblage was supported. In addition, our observational and experimental data strongly suggest that inflorescences can be a higher quality microhabitat than non-reproductive branches for most plant-dwelling spiders.
Subject: body-size distribution
Brazilian savannah
habitat structure
inflorescence fauna
plant-dwelling spiders
Country: Australia
Editor: Blackwell Publishing Asia
Rights: fechado
Date Issue: 2004
Appears in Collections:Unicamp - Artigos e Outros Documentos

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